Every year since 1982, at the end of October, clubs and organizations have been turning pumpkins, squash and other garden vegetables into the funniest, cutest, and most creative displays this side of the Little Bear River. Twenty years is a long time to do anything, but when it's a tradition like the North Logan Pumpkin Walk, 20 years isn't nearly enough.
The activity started as a simple and fun activity for neighborhood children to enjoy on Halloween held on the old Beutler farm in North Logan.
With the draw of Ida Beutler's homemade cookies and hot drinks, about 200 people attended the walk that first year. But it was such a big hit (and word spread so fast), that during the next year, attendance jumped to around 2,000 attendees.
"The Beutlers took their apple crop and had them pressed into cider for Ida, in her gracious manner, to serve to visitors," said North Logan resident Nancy Israelson.
With the help of enlisted friends and neighbors, it grew from there. There was one year when it was just too much for the Beutlers to do, so it was cancelled. The problem was that the Pumpkin Walk had become so loved - it left a void in the Halloween fun - so the next year the city of North Logan asked to help carry on the tradition. Today the Pumpkin Walk is more popular than ever.
With past and current scenes including recreations from "Pirates of the Caribbean," "ET," "Pete's Dragon," "Jurassic Park," Martha Stewart, the Utah Jazz, "Alice in Wonderland," "Pinocchio," "Shrek," the Haunted Forest, "Darby O'Gill and the Little People," "Star Wars," "Sleeping Beauty," "Cinderella," "Aliens," and even a recreation of a backyard picnic, the word on the street is that the walk is just a lot of good, clean fun.
Although amusement may be its purpose, setting up an event like the Pumpkin Walk is no walk in the park. There's plenty to do: Deciding on the theme for the year; contacting people to grow the pumpkins (between 2,000 to 3,000 every year); getting straw and corn stalks; advertising, painting new scener;, getting scene makers and cookies to pass out; finding volunteers to pick, paint; and carve pumpkins; traffic control; parking, helping with all aspects of setting up the displays and taking it all down are just a part of everything that creates the magic thousands of families have come to expect.
After the Pumpkin Walk is over there's a lot of clean-up. Farmers come and take the straw to use on their farms, and the pumpkins are smashed and used for pig feed. The Pumpkin Walk committee asks those who paint pumpkins to use paint without lead or other harmful chemicals, so that the pigs and other animals that eat the smashed pumpkins won't be harmed. Many of the scene props will be saved for next year.